February is Pet Dental Health Month. This topic definitely could use some more exposure! Dental issues are very common in our canine buddies, and can be extremely painful and dangerous. Unfortunately, many people overlook this aspect of dog care. We can help! Here, a Downingtown, PA vet lists some ways to keep your pup’s teeth healthy.
Brushing is the best way to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. This is just as beneficial for dogs as it is for people! You’ll need to get your canine pal accustomed to the process, of course. At first, just rub his teeth and gums with your finger. Offer lots of praise and ear scritches, so Fido thinks this is all just part of getting attention. Once he gets used to this, slowly start incorporating doggy toothpaste and a pet toothbrush. Remember to give your pooch something yummy as a reward!
Keeping Fido hydrated is of course crucial for his survival, but it’s also very important for his dental care. Make sure to clean your furry buddy’s water bowls daily, as otherwise they’ll collect dust, dirt, and germs.
Chewing is actually quite beneficial for Man’s Best Friend. It helps keep his jaws strong, and also stimulates the flow of saliva, which will help rinse food particles away. Offer Fido lots of suitable chew toys. It’s worth mentioning that rawhide chews are a bit controversial. This is because dogs can break pieces off and ingest them, which can be dangerous. Ask your vet for advice on choosing chew toys.
If Fido won’t let you brush his teeth, don’t worry. You can still keep your pup’s choppers heathy with other products. Dental-formula treats, kibble, and chews are all beneficial, as are oral rinses and dental flakes. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Fido should have his teeth checked at least once a year, starting at age one. In between visits, watch for signs of dental issues. Some common ones are bad breath, tartar buildup, bleeding gums, and excessive drool. You may also notice changes in your pet’s eating habits, and/or behavioral changes, such as grumpiness and withdrawal. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything unusual.
Please contact us, your Downingtown, PA vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!